FOSTORIA - Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor outlined the state administration's plan to continue job and economic growth in Ohio during the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce's annual awards luncheon Thursday.
Taylor emphasized job creation as a main concern. She said jobs make communities and families stronger, along with benefiting the state and making it financially stable.
"It does happen one job at a time, and every job counts," she said. "It's nice to make announcements where there's 100 or 200, 300 jobs being created, but it's just as important to say we're creating a new job right here in a community because that's a family that's being impacted."
PHOTO BY BRITTANY COOK
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor told members of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce the state was moving in the right direction, during the chamber’s annual awards luncheon Thursday.
Taylor said when she and Gov. John Kasich took office, Ohio faced an $8 billion budget deficit.
"With the last two budgets, we cut taxes by $3 billion," she said. "We're making progress in the state of Ohio."
She said the administration wants to keep cutting taxes to create an economic environment to bring jobs back to the state.
"They are starting to come back," she said. "We had lost nearly 400,000 jobs in the four years prior to us taking office. Since we came into office, there were 90,000 new businesses created in 2013 alone, which is a new record."
She said the private sector also has created about 160,000 jobs since she and Kasich took office. Small businesses are getting the opportunity to reinvest money they are receiving from the 50 percent tax cut for 2013, Taylor said.
"We are ... for the first time in a long time, hearing from businesses all over the country and, in fact, the world, that they are looking at Ohio for the first time in years. They are taking us seriously," she said.
She said the 10 percent tax cut for individuals, the reduction in income taxes and the elimination of the death tax also are contributing to many individuals coming back to Ohio.
"I actually had somebody say to me just a couple of weeks ago that because of that, that individual is coming back to Ohio," she said.
Taylor also cited the Common Sense Initiative, legislation to help create more jobs, as a way to help small businesses grow and improve the economic outlook of the state.
She said the initiative is not about getting rid of rules and regulations, but protecting the health and safety of citizens.
The initiative also was created to help find the right balance in regulations and the impact that new legislation has on small businesses.
"(The Common Sense Initiative is) very simply our effort to get rid of the red tape in the bureaucracy that's preventing our small businesses from creating jobs," she said. "I like to remind people in government that you don't work for us; we in government work for you."
As the bill to create the initiative was bipartisan, Taylor said there was much support of the legislation in the state.
"Reforming our regulations, treating businesses the way they deserve to be treated, isn't a Republican or a Democrat idea," she said. "I think it's something we all can agree on."
Taylor also supported focusing on making sure individuals are trained to take the jobs available, specifically showing students that college is not the only choice for higher education. Many jobs are open in skilled trades and manufacturing, she said.
"We want to make sure that every one of our children have the opportunity to achieve their American dream," she said. "And that doesn't always include for everyone going to college."
Taylor said the state is moving forward and the outlook is bright as long as the administration and legislature continues to work together.
"We can't take our foot off the gas," she said. "Ohio is starting to move in the right direction again and we can't slow down."